2 Guns

2 Guns

***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

The latest from Baltasar Kormákur, sees him reteam with Contraband's Mark Wahlberg. This time, perhaps recognising Wahlberg's limited charisma as a movie lynchpin, he pairs him with Denzel Washington for extra spark. They make an amiable odd couple but they are up against not only a wealth of fictional bad guys but also scriptwriter Blake Masters - adapting from the comics by Steven Grant and Mateus Santolouco - who twists his plotline into predictability.

Wahlberg is two-bit criminal Michael 'Stig' Stigman, whose smarter partner in crime Bobby Beans (Washington), conspires with him in a bank heist to rip of drug cartel boss Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos). In fact, except for the heist, none of these things is what it seems to be - a maxim that applies to virtually everything in the film to such an extent that you end up guessing what will happen even as your brain struggles to assimilate a gargantuan plot.

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Bobby and Stig, still reeling from the fact the bank vault contained millions more than anticipated and trying to come to terms with the truth about each other's identities, find themselves relieved of the money, hung out to dry by their friends, tackling a mysterious, powerful enemy and, with Bobby's girl Deb (Paula Patton) in peril at the hands of Papi, in a race against time to come up with the cash.

Kormákur, who certainly knows how to choreograph an action sequence, has plenty of fun with everything from shoot 'em ups to car chases, while Wahlberg and Washington deliver their one-liners with the same twinkle that Stig turns on as he winks at every passing waitress. There's plenty of depth in the supporting cast, too, with Bill Paxton and James Marsden both relishing the chance to play nasty pieces of work. Still, when one character asks, "What the hell's going on?" to receive the answer "I don't know.", many in the cinema will have some sympathy.

Like the bulls that Papi is so fond of, this film is more interested in careering about causing mayhem than dwelling on details. That it just about gets away with it is down to Kormákur's high energy and Wahlberg and Washington's winning performances, but less plot and more playfulness would have been welcome.

Reviewed on: 15 Aug 2013
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2 Guns packshot
Mismatched buddies make a lot of enemies after problems with a heist.
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Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Writer: Blake Master

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden, Bill Paxton, Robert John Burke

Year: 2013

Runtime: 109 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

Festivals:

Locarno 2013

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